19 January 2010
By JASON MILLER The Intelligencer
Donald Grecco is still awaiting is fate.
The former Roman Catholic priest and convicted child molester should know by March 9 if he will be brought back to the Quinte region from a Hamilton jail to have the Crown stay charges laid against him for an October bail violation.
Grecco is currently serving an 18-month jail term for the child molestation charges. Following his Dec. 13 sentencing, it was recommended Grecco serve his time at a Brampton jail that specializes in providing extensive treatment for sexual offenders.
Justice Geoff Griffin has openly voiced his concern that bringing Grecco to the Napanee jail could hamper his chances of being expediently admitted into a correctional facility that offers remedial programs for sexual offenders.
Griffin said during Wednesday’s court date bringing Grecco here could potentially cause the 70-year-old to lose his spot on the waiting list. He said Grecco will not be getting the “benefits of sexual counselling,” while he’s being held here.
Grecco was absent for the second time this month for his appearance in the Picton provincial court for breaching his residency requirements while he was released on bail on the child molestation charges.
He was ordered to remain at a Prince Edward County address to await his sentencing after he pleaded guilty in March to three counts of gross indecency.
Grecco already served 21 days for the breach following his arrest by Prince Edward County OPP in October. The St. Catharines man was released from the Napanee jail Nov. 5.
Griffin expressed that the disgraced ex-priest, who is in jail for abusing three altar boys in the 1970s and 1980s, was already released on the grounds that he served sufficient time for the breach.
Crown attorney Jodi Whyte admitted that while she did not totally disagree with Griffin, “there are powers above me that disagree,” and she was simply acting under the advice of her superiors.
Michael Blum and James Hennessy, two of the victims who were abused some 30 years ago, have both filed $3 million lawsuits against the ex-priest.
In the lawsuit documents filed, Blum alleges abuse and negligence. When Blum’s lawyers attempted to serve Grecco with the lawsuit papers, they could not find him as he wasn’t at the address where he was supposed to be.
He was later found and arrested by Prince Edward County OPP. The civil suit claims haven’t been proven in court.
Grecco was ordained in 1966 and served as a pastor at St. Kevin’s and St. Mary’s churches in Welland, St. George’s in Crystal Beach, St. Alexander in Fonthill, St. Vincent de Paul in Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Thomas More in Niagara Falls and St. Stephen’s in Cayuga. Grecco was in his 12th year as a priest when the abuse began.